Much Needed Education Reform

With the focus in Washington being on spending, we often forget that one of the most over-regulated sectors of our country is actually our education system. Including No Child Left Behind (NCLB), there are over 150 federally-operated education programs, each one imposing compliance costs and top-down bureaucracies that do nothing to help educate our children.

Who knows best how to educate our children, is it a centralized bureaucracy or the State and local governments which can adapt their practices to benefit the children in their state alone. Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Oklahoma and New Jersey, to name a few, have shown that states know better than bureaucrats when it comes to education our children.

Practices like school choice, increased accountability to parents and merit pay for teachers have done a lot to actually reform the education process. But the compliance burden of NCLB makes it difficult for states to implement their own practices.

The Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success Act (A-PLUS) allows states to opt out of individual federal education programs in order to craft an education system that suits their students, not a bureaucrat.

For decades, the federal government has been increasing funding and implementing programs for schools without any improvement. The cost to states of all these central-government programs is an estimated $141 million a year and over seven million hours of paperwork.

If we allow states, local governments and parents to develop an education system that works for our children, and get the government out of the way, then there will be more flexibility – and more tax dollars – available to equip our children with the skills they need for the future.



House key vote: co-sponsorship of A-PLUS in the US House (H.R. 2514).

Senate key vote: co-sponsorship of A-PLUS in the US Senate (S. 827).

Please Share Your Thoughts

24 thoughts on “Much Needed Education Reform

  1. I’m all for allowing states do what they are supposed to do and for cutting off the feed of the taxpayer trough. I’d love to see more gov’t employees from the bloated gov’t agencies on the unemployment line. Let then join the rest of America and see if they support Oscama then.

  2. The removal of the Federal Government from controlling public schools is long overdue. Let the States control public education as the founding fathers dictated.

  3. I live in Florida; my grandkids live in Oregon and Michigan. It matters! How can we help stop Obama’s Raid on Education through his bureaucrats?

  4. My grandkids have been taught nothing that they need to know [ I refer to basics Math; Science; and ENGLISH; spelling]. They can tell how blacks were slaves, how the latinos are treated because they want a better life WITHOUT sacafices, but they can not make change without a calculator.. Stupid!!!!

    • I really agree with you that kids are not being taught what they need to know. On top of the basics, they should also be taught some simple life skills–simple things like how to use a stove and how to sew on a button. Seems I remember having home economics where these were taught but apparently these skills are not as important as the slaves and mexicans

      • I totally agree with you on that! Children in today schools are not taught how do deal with everyday life. We had home economics and shop and FFA in school. We could survive. I worry for my grandchildren. Schools today teach to much social behavior and not enough education in everyday basics of life.

      • Home economics is important, including the “economics” part, of learning how to save money by preparing raw veggies for the dinner table, for instance. Being willing and learning how to live on one income is challenging, but we learned how. What has most contributed to the lack of a “good”education is the mother not being in the home to listen to the children, oversee and guide the thinking of her children, who are not yet able to discriminate right from wrong. Having a mother (or father) to come home to after their public education creates a secure enviornment, unlike anything else.

  5. The less bureaucracy between parents and their children’s classroom teachers, the healthier the education system becomes. The Parent-Teacher Organizations intimately involved in private schools result in excellence in education. I’ve watched the public school sector going downhill since I was in school in the 60’s. In the 80’s, without funds for private schools, I opted to homeschool, when it wasn’t accepted and fled across a state border to do so when the state tried to stop us. Parents need to be in control of their children’s schooling. I’m concerned about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. I don’t want to see this International Treaty to be signed to become law over this country. It would allow not our Federal Government, but an international court at the UN to tell us how our children should be educated. Only the United States and Somalia have not ratified this international treaty. I’m supporting a Parental Right’s Amendment to our Federal Constitution, to protect our rights from an international court. President Clinton signed this treaty The UN Convention, but it was never sent to the senate for ratification. We don’t want it to be signed. We need protection of a Constitutional Parental Rights Amendment to our Constitution. And we need the Fed’s out of our schools. End the Department of Education, (and other unnecessary departments). Local control of schools works best. Parents are the ones who care most, and will see that children get what they need, and not get what they shouldn’t get.

  6. It’s best to just ELIMINATE the Federal Dept. of Education & all Federal educational mandates. Allow States to adopt tax supported vouchers for each child to go to whatever school the parents & the child want to go to. This will force competition between all schools and the best schools win the dollars. The failing school will go to the dustbin of history.

  7. I don’t think the states are the appropriate authority either. Chubb & Moe more than a decade ago, stated from their research that when a Principal had the ability to hire and fire, then the Principal could put together a team that made sense and could be controlled at that level. This leads to teaching the children where they are, not where they are supposed to be as dictated by an organization not in daily touch with the class room.

  8. I think A-Plus is a great idea. The federal government needs to get out of regulating our schools. I must however point out an even more serious problem. When was the last time you read one of your childs text books? You would be suprised what’s in them. We need to stand up and return our childrens text books with the right and truthful information. I say this since I looked at my daughters’ history book. There was so much liberal junk and lies about our founding father’s that I had to spend some time in the bathroom since my stomach was turning so badly. We need to make sure that the text books our children get, reflect real historical events, real people and real situations. We need to wake up now because we are not only loosing our country, we are also loosing our children.

  9. The Federal government has no place in education. The states would do a better job of controlling education and could better meet the needs of the students. Everything the Feds stick their nose in turns into a big fiasco. None of those morons in Washington know what they are doing, anyway.

  10. If I read this right, the Feds would give up CONTROL but would continue to FUND. Any time our taxes have to go to Washington, then be sent back to us we lose at least 30% in the process. Why can we not return FUNDING to the states as well as CONTROL?

  11. Schools are failing due to the intervention of the Federal Government. So much wealth
    has been wasted with little to show for it. Now is the time to assert States Rights and short circuit the Fed.

  12. As a teacher, I’m behind this 100%. My only problem is what to do about states like Arizona that consistently put education at the absolute bottom of any funding list. Also, be very aware that 48 states have signed on to the Common Core standards! There is federal involvement in this program, the process of socializing our education system. Scary, but true.

  13. I do not know what the A-PLUS program does. All I know is a majority of kids and especially lower-income school kids are having their futures ruined by ineffective teachers and schools that consistently produce failure in learning. We must reward effective teachers and be able to get ride of the poor ones. This means tenure needs to be removed or altered so that firing bad teachers and replacing them with motivated good ones can proceed. We need effective principals and faculty that buy-in to really improving the education and lives of this country’s children. They are our future and America is falling behind. This is the most important issue facing our country.

  14. I’ve been in the education business for over 30 years. I like the idea of merit pay, but I’ve never had a principal/supervising administrator that was not biased or unfair in judgments or evaluations. Therefore I’ve voiced my disapproval of merit pay.
    As far as NCLB, gads what a mess. There’s no way a school/school district can perform up to par when you have migrant students that are in school a month, gone the next two months, and back in school for another month. They’re English skills are not only poor, they are virtually illiterate. (Not their fault).
    Probably 90% of the students in our special education division are migrant children — you should see the amount of federal legislation there. And they keep putting more and more requirements on record keeping. If that’s not bad enough, SUE the school district, the teachers, the administrators. All parents can see sometimes is the $$$ that schools must have. Sometimes you should try to teach 6 classes of 28-30 students each and check to make sure everyone is doing what they’re capable of. Then you also need to police the class when you give a test to make sure no one is sending answers via their cell phones.
    But you’re supposed to make your classes FUN. Your definition of fun is really scary here-to me, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry and even Calculus are fun. I never taught a week that I didn’t learn and gain a greater understanding of some subject/lesson. But keeping up with the paperwork. the grants, the technology, the curriculum meetings is a full time job —- When Do You Teach Kids? Grade papers? Conference with parents?
    So much of this is mandated by state/federal laws and regulations.

    The more Federal and State authorities mess with local issues the worse education your children will receive.

  15. Pingback: Much Needed Education Reform « Save the American Dream

  16. In the past 30 years, the Federal Dept. of Education, and their uber-Marxist overlords, the National Education Association, have transformed our nation’s schools into indoctrination centers, where their brand of “American values” is taught. If you are older than 50, and were taught about America’s greatness, you’d be shocked at what passes for “knowledge” and “history” in our schools today.

    What they teach in American schools today: Global Warming is gospel, the Gospel is a myth, and Big Government would be God’s gift to humanity if God existed.

    The question for 2012 becomes, “Do you want your children to live in a communist country, or not?”

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